Malaika Jabali www.essence.com
A young alum anonymously donated over $2 million to Alabama A&M University, officials announced Wednesday. Well, they donated $2,187,518.75 to be precise, twice-reflecting the HBCU’s founding in 1875. So AAMU is clearly creating both successful and clever alumni.
President Andrew Hugine, Jr said the nearly $2.2 million donation “is the most significant and impactful gift in the history of Alabama A&M University. When one of our very own alumni makes such a substantial investment to the institution, it serves as affirmation that the University has made significant progress and that it continues to move in the right direction.”
Notable AAMU alumni include civil rights icon Joseph Lowery, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, and former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard. One can only guess who provided the generous donation, but the anonymous donor made it clear there are other alumni could provide a similar gift to the university.
“This gift is personal to me,” the donor said in a statement. “This is my university, and it has afforded me opportunities beyond what I could have ever imagined. It has been my life’s mission to make a sizeable investment in my alma mater…As a graduate, I personally know of several other alumni who can make a similar gift, and I challenge them to do the same. In return, I do not want any recognition or anything named after me, because service is sovereignty.”
The recent donation is also a good plug for making historically Black colleges and universities more affordable through federal action, which advocates have called for recently. Though HBCUs only make up three percent of America’s colleges and universities, they produce 20% of Black American graduates. Removing the financial hurdles to attend HBCUs could ultimately produce many more successful alumni.
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